It’s been nearly a year since Serena van der Woodsen’s alter ego, Blake Lively, launched her spooky-looking lifestyle website, Preserve—and now, the actress has opened up to Time about the trials and tribs she’s faced as a celebrity entrepreneur.
In the new interview, Lively, who considers herself a storyteller (“As an actress, I try to tell stories in the most honest way possible […]. With Preserve, I’m doing the same thing”) offers plenty of insight about what’s wrong with Preserve (lots), who’s to blame (Anna Wintour), and whether her website has a business plan (maybe).
Read on for the best bits.
Lively isn’t sure if Preserve has a business plan, but she’s optimistic.
“I hope there’s a business plan!”
Working for Preserve is a masochistic experience.
“We have a team of amazing people coming to work and bleeding, sweating and crying every day, and loving it.”
Preserve’s problems are mostly Vogue’s fault.
“We found ourselves at launch and we had a Vogue cover set up, so I couldn’t call Anna Wintour and say “I need six more months.”
Despite her being on Vogue, Lively thought no one would be aware of Preserve for a long, long time.
“I always thought we’d be able to have our Petri dish of a company and after three or four years, people would notice us and we’d get press and attention.”
She wishes Meryl Streep would mentor her, like Martha Stewart has.
“I’ve seen such generosity [in this industry] that I haven’t seen in the profession of acting—it’s not that actors aren’t generous, but no one has connected me with Meryl Streep to muse about what has worked onscreen and why.”
People would like Preserve more if Lively were a man.
“I see what happens in the world of female entrepreneurs and I see what the media does. And that they pit women against each other and there’s an “or”—should women stick to this or this? […] It’s a nasty world. You don’t see male entrepreneurs pitted against each other, destroyed, picked apart, and every word they say served up to judge.”
She loves Waffle House.
“I also love Waffle House.”
Preserve’s biggest problem is that it has too many customers!
“The problem is what most companies want: That level of press or demand. We have a really dedicated community. We have more than we’re equipped to handle.”
In addition to being an actress, entrepreneur, and storyteller, Lively is an explorer.
“I think I’m an explorer.”
…and a student…
“I think I’m good at being an explorer and a student.”
…and a sharer (unless it’s dessert!)
“I’m good at sharing, unless it’s dessert!”
If she got her way, Lively would just scrap Preserve altogether and start over.
“If I had my dream, I’d put it on hold for six months or a year and then relaunch it.”
And there you have it. Gwyneth Paltrow is surely rolling in her aspirational, GOOP-y grave at this very moment.
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